There are two default post types in WordPress i.e. posts and pages. Unlike posts which are on the same level, hierarchies can be created among WordPress pages in the form of parent and child pages. Let’s examine the WordPress parent page hierarchy and its use cases.
What is a parent page?
A WordPress parent page is a top level page under which you can cluster sub-pages. Creating this page hierarchy means that child pages can only exist under parent pages. For instance, if you offer consulting services, you can have a ‘services’ parent page under which individual child pages are nested, such as ‘operations consulting’, ‘business strategy consulting’, and ‘HR consulting’.
Parent and child page structure
When this hierarchy is established, child page URLs are derived from their respective parent pages. From the example above, the URL structure could be:
How to create a page hierarchy
To create a parent-child page hierarchy on your WordPress website, start by publishing the page you want to be at the top of the structure:
Navigate to the WordPress dashboard, hover on ‘Pages’ and select ‘Add New’. Add a title and content and publish the page.
To create a child page, simply create a new page, then, under the page settings, scroll down to ‘Page Attributes’. Under ‘Parent Page’, select the desired page from the drop-down menu.
Managing WordPress parent and child pages
Having a page hierarchy can be beneficial for SEO if done properly. It creates a page structure which makes it easier for search engines like Google to crawl your website and index it. This makes content easier to find and comprehend, while also signaling to search engines which pages are important, which can enhance searchability and site authority.
These guidelines can help create an effective structure:
- Group relevant content ‒ does the relationship between the parent and child page make sense based on the content therein?
- Less is more ‒ don’t have too many categories. Instead, have seven or less, so as not to hamper the user’s ease of navigation.
- Update your website sitemap ‒ when you make changes to your pages or create new ones, be sure to keep your WordPress sitemap up to date as this will help with your website’s indexing.
While creating a WordPress parent page hierarchy isn’t a necessity, it can help improve user navigation and improve your site’s structure.